Industry Profile: Gloria Roheim McRae

A Gen Y native, Gloria grew up digital. She began her career in public affairs, pivoted into the not-for-profit, then private sector before redefining herself as an entrepreneur. In her quest to do what she loves she has worn many hats, including policy advisor, international project manager, and market research consultant.

Dabble gets advice from Gloria on becoming your own boss.

1- DAB: Did you Dabble your way to success?
GRM: Success is such a juicy and personal word. To me, it means doing things that I love every day, with people that I love, and enriching the world because of it. I’m passionate about designing my life on my own terms, and serving people in the process. So I went through 21 different jobs and 4 different career sectors before finding my definition of success. It’s being my own boss, and turning what I love to do into profitable services that I can offer others. Today, that includes an best-selling book, BYOB: The Unapologetic Guide to Being Your Own Boss, a paid speaking career that I love, four years in business as my own boss, co-owning a digital strategy company, Wedge 15, with my amazing husband Ricardo, and working with some of the most amazing clients across Canada.

2- DAB: How can someone Dabble into a career?
GRM: Literally, one step at a time, with unwavering commitment, and the willingness to try new things and pivot as you learn and grow. There is a myth that I hear from nearly every one of my entrepreneurial clients, that success is supposed to happen over night. I have never seen an overnight success that sustained the test of time, or had any qualitative longevity to it. I think about it this way: we each have 24 hours in a day; we are each given an average of 85 years on this planet; and, we are each given natural talent that can be honed into profitable skills. The key is, you have to practice, practice, and practice until others want more of what you have to offer. That’s when you make what you dabble in your career. It’s our job to figure out why we’re here and make a positive impact while we are. I believe in Malcolm Gladwell’s assessment, that after about 10,000 hours of honing a craft, you can turn what you’re dabbling in, into expertise. Then, sell it.

3- AB: What’s your advice for people who want to BYOB?
GRM: Practically speaking, buy my book, and do all the worksheets. Not even kidding. That alone will set you up for success as a boss. Also, prepare yourself mentally for the most challenging and rewarding exploration you’ll ever have. Downscale your cost of living, ensure you have a means to cover your basic cost of living should your business take a few months or a year to yield any profit. And equally critical, assemble your team―a support squad who understand the roller coaster world of entrepreneurship and boss hood, who will encourage you and support you on those tough days. Being your own boss is way more responsibility than having a boss, and the leadership it will require, necessitates the importance of having a support group of friends and colleagues. Last, take care of yourself. It’s a long race. It takes time to build your tribe, your brand, your customers.

4- DAB: List of 5 things you can’t live without.
GRM: High speed wireless Internet; the loving and supportive partnership of my husband and business partner; a solid latte, European style; travel and variety; and my Apple devices. I can change the world with those 5 things.